While casually going through Mint newspaper for some of the days in May 2010, I came across advertisements by some companies including some PSUs. I have written about the advertisement by ONGC earlier. Other PSUs who advertised their financial results were banks like Central Bank (May 4, 2010), Syndicate Bank (May 5, 2010), PNB (May 7, 2010) and SBI (May 15, 2010). These were:
There was also an advertisement by REC Ltd (May 21, 2010), a Government Company-
Strangely, all these PSUs issued colour advertisements. Two of them had politicians in their advertisements (ONGC & Central Bank). Syndicate Bank, PNB, SBI & REC did not have politician or Chairman on their advertisements.
I came across advertisements by two private sector companies on May 4, 2010 - JSW and HDFC, both of which were in black & white. The advertisements did not contain any politician or promoter photos.
And both HDFC and JSW got good coverage in Mint. In fact, HDFC was covered in 2 different pages on the same date!
While SBI's results were covered, it was not positive.
My overall impression is that the two private sector companies paid less and got better press coverage! But this is a completely subjective assessment made on a casual reading of Mint for May 2010. This would not stand the test of academic scrutiny. It is quite possible that the PSUs have issued advertisements in other newspapers where they got better coverage ... but that fact is not known to me and so for the time being I conclude that the two private sector companies were smarter than the PSU entities and they got better bang for the buck!